The Abbey was founded by the Cistercians in 1154, but very little trace remains of the original Abbey buildings except for the 14th-century Gatehouse.

After the Dissolution of the Monasteries the estate was acquired by Sir Thomas Leigh, Lord Mayor of London in 1558, and a house was built  on the site of the monastic buildings. It was the home of the Leigh family from 1561 to 1990.

Between 1714 and 1726 a new palatial four-storey fifteen-bay west wing was built to designs by architect Francis Smith of Warwick and provides an impressive range of state apartments. After many tragic events including a fire in 1960, the house was left in a run down state, that could no longer be looked after by the Leigh family so was sold to a preservation charitable trust, but when this also failed the Abbey was saved by a new independent charitable Trust set up by Chairman Mr Tony Bird OBE,  a local business man with the vision, knowledge and enthusiasm to bring the Abbey back to life.

The Historic house can be viewed by guided tours which run Sunday-Thursday at 11.30pm & 2.30pm.

You can also now get a glimpse of the house history in the new Vaulted hall Tea room, formally the house staff dining and rest room. With over 900 years of history locked within the very walls of the main house there is so much to learn and discover, so don't miss out on a guided tour if you are visiting us.

© 2014 Stoneleigh Abbey Charitable Trust             Registered Charity No 1058526

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